This should have been a short trip but a navigation error at the start took us out of the way. Following the book's instruction, minutes after starting out Dinah and I headed up a side trail marked with a cairn. How were we to know that since the book's publication another side trail appeared before the correct turnoff?
This trail took us up the left bank of a drainage, dropped over a ridge and down to a stream. I knew we had to cross this second drainage yet the trail didn't continue on the other side. After spending several minutes looking for the trail, we gave up and bushwhacked up a steep slope. This put us on the crest of the ridge and on the right trail.
We ran into no more difficulties except for some mountain sheep that barred the way and were reluctant to move. One in particular lowered his horns and glared at me. I feared I would have to butt heads with him but he backed down and walked away. Good thing as I didn't want to hurt him.
After a pleasant hike along the ridge we dropped down to the saddle and started scrambling up the steep slopes of the north side of Roche Miette. Trails and colorful flagging abounded and left no doubt as to which way to go. We soon topped out on an undulating plateau and headed to the highest point and the summit cairn.
On the return trip we followed the proper trail all the way back to see where we went wrong. I noticed, though, that there appeared to be good scree running down from the saddle to the drainage that we had crossed. The wrong side trail that we hiked up could be used as an alternate fast return. Or so I thought until Troy Rossmann corrected me. He's done it and found that the ground was compacted and not scree after all. He suspects it would take longer as a descent route. But for the approach, be sure to take the second side trail and not the first! The correct side trail starts near the top of a rise.
View of Roche Miette from the trailhead
These lady slippers, orchids actually, are abundant
Following the ascent ridge
These sheep were reluctant to give way to us
Looking back along the ridge
Athabasca River runs below
View from just above the saddle. From here, we worked our way left and up.
Leaving the saddle. Below is Brule Lake.
Almost on the summit plateau
Crossing the plateau to reach the summit
On the summit
84 F/4 Miette